Creating Waves Newsletter ~ With Melissa Michaels and Friends
Creating Waves Newsletter ~ Melissa's Greeting
Issue No. 2 ~ Winter 2011

Melissa's Greeting
Navigating the Edge from Center

Surfers Sharing
Alumni Feature
Elder Honoring
Parent's Perspectives
Somasource® in The World
Alumni Updates
Our Edge
The Horizon

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~ Melissa's Greeting ~

Dear Dancing Friends,

Mama Earth           Welcome to our second Creating Waves Newsletter. As I contemplate this past growing season, I am bathed in gratitude. Our dancing tribe has been graced with a body of work that practically and consistently helps people orient towards that which is life giving. We are part of the global movement dedicated to the protection and amplification of wholesome ways of being. In these times when so much of what we have known is in break down, we respectfully aim our consciousness in action towards that which supports the restoration of nature's order.

Specifically, one of our intentions is to help folks embody the organic growth process from pre-conception through death, even in the face of enormous social and environmental toxins so often interfering with normal human development. Honoring that, in the pages that follow our specific focus will be to share a bit more about our work of growing healthy human beings in community.

AfricaCommunity for us involves the striving for right relationship and collaborative action. We expand the idea of community to include the invisible and the visible. Consciously dancing with the most subtle of the inner landscape, the bones, the tissue, the blood, and the cells, we commune with the limitless frontiers of the body. Simultaneously, our dance work also opens pathways for intimate communion with our friends of Spirit, allowing us to feel and align with the Divine. Our community, however, does not only include that which is deep inside and that which is far outside the bounds of this material world. Our dances naturally reach down towards the Earth and horizontally out towards our neighbors with whom we share this precious planet earth. In our work, we aspire to commune with everything from the diverse parts of our bodies, to our families, our neighborhoods, all the way out to our friends around the globe, and of course, to the plant beings, the animals, all the life giving systems.

Of course, there is nothing new about this.

JumpingReturning to the human realm, the focus of this season's newsletter, we recognize that regardless of our economic status, our gender, the color of our skin, or the titles we bare, we are unified by our shared human experience as accessed, transformed, and celebrated through the dance.

Through the dance, we have remained fascinated with how life grows, not only from conception to death and beyond, but also through the seasonal cycles of the year. Thus, as the season here in the Northern Hemisphere moves from Autumn into Winter, we pause in this newsletter to continue to harvest a bit of the good work that has unfolded over the recent growing season along with honoring the powerful presence of Spirit that will guide us through the austere cycle of winter ahead.

This is the time of the year to consider deeply what have been the fruits of our labors. Where has our attention been focused during the past growing season and what impact does that have on ourselves, our families, our communities near and far? In fact, humanity is being invited to do the same at this time, to look square in the eye at the outcomes of all of our choices. What is being created? Are our deeds serving life or contributing to the toxic overload that we are facing in our oceans, our bodies, in the spaces between us. What has worked? What is not working? Where do we need to actively grow in order to be ever more of a resource in these challenging times? And, as all that is harvested is being composted or preserved for the seasons ahead, what is being heralded from the Spirit world?

Please join us for an inquiry into these themes.

Our opening section of this newsletter, Navigating the Edge from Center, offers a brief overview of one building block in our shared work. In this issue, we focus on the powerful presence of our ancestors, in particular those who we have literally danced with in this world and That in this lifetime. In Surfers Sharing, the second section of Creating Waves, we then offer some work of our students, writings that glimpse into the intergenerational scope of our work together. From there, we offer an Alumni Feature, sharing in detail one seasoned surfer's story of hope, from struggle to service. This is followed by our Elder Honoring, a place to welcome the voice of a seasoned leader serving in our community of practice. Parent's Perspectives then heralds the voice of one parent who is significant in the development of this community of dancers. We also include Alumni Updates, a glimpse into the personal and professional developments of those who have completed a Surfing the Creative® camp or training. SomaSource™ in the World is the section of our newsletter where we feature a few youth leaders and how their work is currently manifesting in the world. Our Edge is the section where we share a bit about our organization's growth process, inviting you all to join us in considering how we evolve over time. Our final section, The Horizon, offers details about what is unfolding in the future; classes, celebrations, trainings, camps, etc.

Open only one section or read them all. We hope that our words and images will serve to inspire you on your dancing path.

ShieldIn closing, I would like to honor our mighty team who helped me create this newsletter: Dayna Schueth (our gifted web artist), Taliza Mizrahi, Blythe Massey, Tara King, Ramon Parish, Veronica Carnero, Lisa McVicker, and all the Surfers whose inspired work is celebrated in the pages that follow. Our photographers, Kat Shea, Britt Basel, Hagen Caldwell, Sarkis Renjilian-Burgy, Rei Dishon, and Yair Wahle all have helped bring these words to life.

Above all, I remain profoundly grateful to our extended community that supports our work ( and for all of the ways that every one of you show up to dance ~ from arriving on the dance floor in a timely way to move together week after week, to housing youth when they visit from afar, to reaching out in practical ways to a family facing a major life crisis, to practicing this work in your own life and allowing it to help you heal and grow. It is an honor and ongoing teaching to work together with you. Thank you for your generosity, your trust, your steadfastness, and your brilliant creative spirits.

            Let's keep dancing!

            With Love ~



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